Acute renal failure (ARF) is a common and serious problem in clinical medicine. It is characterized by an abrupt reduction (usually within a 48-h period) in kidney function.
This results in an accumulation of nitrogenous waste products and other toxins. Many patients become oliguric (low urine output) with subsequent salt and water retention. In
patients with pre-existing renal impairment, a rapid decline
in renal function is termed ‘acute on chronic renal failure’.
The nomenclature of ARF is evolving and the term acute
kidney injury (AKI) is being increasingly used in clinical